Herald of Agony / Rain of Arrows Occultist Build Guide (PoE Harvest 3.11)

Furty

189


About the Author

Furty has been playing Path of Exile since the release of the Onslaught League in 2013, and has a deep and diverse well of experience within the game. Equally comfortable playing on Hardcore, Softcore, and Solo-Self Found Leagues, recent ladder results include finishing at Rank 5 on the Legion SSF League playing Essence Drain Essence Drain and the Betrayal League at Rank 186 playing Elemental Hit Elemental Hit. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.

Author

Guide Format

This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links


Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers


Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

Introduction

Herald of Agony Herald of Agony is a remarkable and unique Aura skill that was released in Patch 3.4: Delve, and quickly became one of the most powerful and dominant skills to build around in the metagame. Whenever you poison an enemy under the influence of this aura, you summon an Agony Crawler minion, and you gain stacks of Virulence. You can only have a single Agony Crawler active, but it gains significant amounts of damage and attack speed for every stack of Virulence you have active. If you run out of stacks, the Agony Crawler will despawn. Virulence cannot exceed 40 stacks.

In addition to the Agony Crawler, the exile also gains additional chance to poison as well as additional poison damage. As you might expect, the ability to inflict high amounts of poison per second to many targets is hugely advantageous for this build, which is why we will use Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows as the trigger for our Herald of Agony Herald of Agony. Not only can this spell hit the same target multiple times, but it has a good range, rate of fire, and does not require any special positioning or aim.

This build is intended to be a late-game monster, sporting tens of thousands of Energy Shield and millions of DPS, giving it the power and defenses to simply flatten whatever challenges lie ahead. Perhaps even more attractively, it functions perfectly fine as a league starter, and has a very smooth investment path into the late-game. This makes it an excellent choice for fresh leagues or late-league luxuries, and it is entirely viable in Solo Self-Found.

Build Assessment

The best available gear for this build is very expensive, however, as this build can easily clear Uber Elder with self found magic/rare gear, we have elected not to list that under the “Cons” section.

Pros

+ Absurd Defenses (15-20k Energy Shield)
+ Top tier Shaper damage (4-8 Million DPS)
+ Viable on all Leagues; Hardcore, SSF, Softcore
+ Triple curse setup (buffed in Synthesis)
+ Can kill Uber Elder in literal blue/magic gear
+ All Map Mods without any effort
+ Excellent league starter, even better league finisher
+ Ranged/bow playstyle
+ Any content in the game is possible

Cons

Proximity shields are difficult to deal with and can put you in awkward situations
Playstyle may not suit everyone

Playstyle

This build will suit players who enjoy fast-paced ranged builds, and especially those who enjoy bow-based styles of play. Though Herald of Agony Herald of Agony deals the vast majority of our damage, the main skill we will be casting to trigger the poison and Virulence stacks will be Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows, which will constitute the major “feel” portion of this version of the build. In some respects, this makes the build similar to a Cast On Critical Strike Support Cast On Critical Strike Support build, with the main skill directing the playstyle. Similar to an iceberg, Rain of Arrows only comprises the “tip” of the damage, which is followed by a massive deluge of fury and damage once the Agony Crawler starts firing.

Part of the strength of this build is the lack of “trade-off” that it involves when it comes to the handshake between offense and defense. Bow-builds are speedy, maneuverable, and give the player a great degree of control of their positioning, which feels great on some of the spookier bosses. Many of the game’s most defensively capable builds are immobile, requiring the player to stand in place while casting their abilities, or forcing them to stand within melee range to deal damage. Our Herald of Agony Herald of Agony Occultist takes the best parts of both archetypes, remaining light on its fight while still sporting thousands upon thousand of Energy Shield in case you get caught by a big spike of damage. Unlike the majority of minion and totem builds, the Agony Crawler is not affected by enemy damage, and cannot be randomly damaged or killed by difficult opponents. The result is a build that takes the best parts of several archetypes without carrying over any of the disadvantages.

The faster you move through the map, the faster you will clear with this build. This is due to your Virulence stacks, which fall off over time. Efficient movement around the area you are attempting to clear results in a higher average amount of stacks, which directly translates into more damage and faster clear. Playstyle itself is not terribly complicated; simply run through the map casting Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows on enemies. Your Agony Crawler will clean up everything in your wake, leave you free to focus on optimizing other parts of your gameplay, such as flask uptime, positioning, and map routing. Proper use of Convocation Convocation is one of the main optimizations to managing your clear speed and Virulence stacks.

Skill Trees

This is our recommended Level 100 Passive Skill Tree.

For more details on the Passive Tree, skill acquisition order, and more, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page for in-depth information.

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Powers page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items strike a balance between power and cost-effectiveness. If you want to explore more options for Gear (both budget and high-end), Flasks, or get more information on alternatives and specialty items, please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels, and Flasks page thoroughly.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head 250+ ES Hubris Circlet Hubris Circlet
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest 700+ ES Vaal Regalia Vaal Regalia
Gloves Shaper's Touch Shaper's Touch
Boots 200+ Energy Shield Sorcerer Boots Sorcerer Boots
Belt Rare Crystal Belt Crystal Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon 1 Crafted +3 Gems Bow with Vicious Projectiles
Quiver Soul Strike Soul Strike

For in-depth recommendations for gear, flasks, jewels, and crafting advice be sure to read our Gear, Jewels, and Flasks page.

Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

We recommend starting with Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse, which works well with Lifesprig Lifesprig if you have one. Once you are Level 12, and enter the Cavern of Wrath, pick up Storm Brand Storm Brand from Nessa and start using it as your main clearing skill.

In order of priority, the Storm Brand links are:

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  3. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  4. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  5. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  6. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support

If you are using a Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa, simply fill in the other gem sockets with whatever supports are available from the vendors until you reach Act II.

You can switch to Herald of Agony Herald of Agony as early as level 18 (Act II). You will need a bow, and two 3-Links. Simply link Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows to Poison Support Poison Support and Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support, then link Herald of Agony Herald of Agony to Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support and Minion Speed Support Minion Speed Support. This should already be more than enough damage to clear Labyrinth straight away and deal with any bosses.

Start filling out your other links as you acquire more gear and items. Feel free to use the end-game recommended links as soon as possible if you have leveling gear to assist you.

Do not respec to Chaos Innoculation until after you are certain you have the gear and Resistances to support it. In most cases, we recommend waiting until the 70s or 80s before making the switch.

Leveling Trees

FAQ

What Annointment Should I Use for my Amulet?

  • Gravepact: A very strong choice for damage.
  • Spiritual Command: Adds additional attack speed to both you and your minion and feels very smooth.

How Do I Get 20k+ Energy Shield?

Unfortunately, the answer is as simple as “get better gear”. These “GG” level pieces can be very expensive, and some may even require Mirror of Kalandra Mirror of Kalandra service to obtain. The good news, however, is that such items are entirely unnecessary for this build to roll over anything and everything, and reaching such high heights is more of an illustration of what is possible than a reasonable standard to aim for.

Are There Any Map Mods I Should Avoid?

This build can do every Map Mod with no issues, so there’s no need to concern yourself with anything other than Quantity bonus.

The Sextant mods that adds “More Monsters that Deal Physical Damage” should also be avoided, as it usually adds many additional monsters with proximity shields, which are a pain to deal with and can be occasionally dangerous in tighter quarters.

Changelog
  •   

    Initial updates for 3.11 Harvest; tree, pantheon, intro, FAQ.

  •   

    Leveling trees updated using Delirium tree and covering a wider span of levels.

  •   

    Updated for Patch 3.9 Metamorph.

  •   

    Added Annointment advice.

  •   

    Updated for Patch 3.8.0 Blight League — Passive Skill Tree, Build Assessment, Gem Links, and more.

  •   

    Updated Energy from Within placement.

  •   

    Fully updated for Legion 3.7: Ascendancy, Gear, Skill Tree, Pros/Cons, FAQ, and more!

  •   

    Updated Pros/Cons.

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  1. Posts
    1

    Hello!
    Is this a good build to hit 100? I mean, survibility talking.
    Also, any tips?
    I’ve playing for like 6 years, but my max. level was 95.
    I keep lacking dying too much doing maps with many mods.
    Like this build a lot, cause of bow playstyle.
    Appreciate it.

  2. Furty

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    1284

    On 02/04/2019 at 11:19 PM, DONTKILLMYVIBE said

    Hello!
    Is this a good build to hit 100? I mean, survibility talking.
    Also, any tips?
    I’ve playing for like 6 years, but my max. level was 95.
    I keep lacking dying too much doing maps with many mods.
    Like this build a lot, cause of bow playstyle.
    Appreciate it.

    As we discussed in PMs, I think this build is excellent for reaching Level 100. Due to the sheer amount of Energy Shield possible, it reduces or eliminates the threat of “Rogue Waves” — massive single hits that might one-shot a normal build. Things like T16 Turbo/+Damage/-Max/etc. Betrayal encounters are suddenly trivialized entirely.

    I find the most dangerous situations are when dealing with large amounts of proximity shield mobs. Getting inside their bubbles, casting Convocation, and waiting for the crawler to kill them can be a little risky (depending on map mods/tier/mob type), so you have to play those situations patiently and properly, especially if they are monsters that fire projectile barrages (the half-naked tentacle women from Lunaris 2 are the most deadly).

  3. Posts
    13

    Do you have any indication for the leveling phase after level 48?

  4. Posts
    1

    Thanks fot this nice Guide, i have a question between the item quantity gem.
    Do you see any possibility of installing this somewhere? Maybe in the chest ? or does this also work with auras ?

  5. Posts
    21

    Hi there!

    Man this is very expansive!!
    Four Energy From Within 4 × 44 (chaos) the cheapest that I found 176 Chaos!
    More the others!!!
    Can I play this build without those?

  6. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1284

    On 13/04/2019 at 11:56 PM, Fezao said

    Hi there!

    Man this is very expansive!!
    Four Energy From Within 4 × 44 (chaos) the cheapest that I found 176 Chaos!
    More the others!!!
    Can I play this build without those?

    You will have to alter the tree, obviously, but it can be played without them. Just spec into more Energy Shield in the Foresight/Unnatural Calm wheels and anywhere else you can spare.

  7. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1284

    On 06/04/2019 at 5:17 PM, daddycharlie said

    Do you have any indication for the leveling phase after level 48?

    There’s plenty of ways you can do it, simply stick to your preference.

  8. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1284

    On 09/04/2019 at 10:32 AM, null said

    Thanks fot this nice Guide, i have a question between the item quantity gem.
    Do you see any possibility of installing this somewhere? Maybe in the chest ? or does this also work with auras ?

    Of course it’s possible, but you will be sacrificing damage. That’s a choice you will have to make for yourself, but I personally don’t recommend it.

  9. Posts
    1

    I can’t equip some of my gems because of dex requirements. Is there any item i’m missing or is the build supposed to go like this.

  10. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1284

    On 26/04/2019 at 3:08 PM, null said

    I can’t equip some of my gems because of dex requirements. Is there any item i’m missing or is the build supposed to go like this.

    What level are you? Following the tree, using Soul Strike Soul Strike, and one item with Dexterity (my personal choice is a Turquoise Amulet Turquoise Amulet since the implicit covers it) and you should have close to 200 Dex — more than enough for any gems.

  11. Posts
    3

    Question, is it not better to swap out the Life next to Devotion for Zealot’s Oath?

  12. Furty

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    1284

    On 26/05/2019 at 11:53 AM, Weird Grim said

    Question, is it not better to swap out the Life next to Devotion for Zealot’s Oath?

    There’s only 0.5% Life Regeneration with this build so it’s not really worth a point to convert it, especially with all the Energy Shield Regeneration we already have from Wicked Ward/Vile Bastion via Ascendancy.

  13. Posts
    6

    Don’t know if you went over this already but why not toxic rain?

  14. Furty

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    1284

    On 18/06/2019 at 4:44 AM, silveriust said

    Don’t know if you went over this already but why not toxic rain?

    It’s just categorically worse in every way for stacking Herald of Agony Herald of Agony — clear, hitting the same target multiple time, APS scaling, etc.

  15. Posts
    6

    On 21/06/2019 at 9:58 AM, Furty said

    On 18/06/2019 at 4:44 AM, silveriust said

    Don’t know if you went over this already but why not toxic rain?

    It’s just categorically worse in every way for stacking Herald of Agony Herald of Agony — clear, hitting the same target multiple time, APS scaling, etc.

    I see, thanks

  16. Furty

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    1284

    On 21/06/2019 at 3:51 PM, silveriust said

    On 21/06/2019 at 9:58 AM, Furty said

    On 18/06/2019 at 4:44 AM, silveriust said

    Don’t know if you went over this already but why not toxic rain?

    It’s just categorically worse in every way for stacking Herald of Agony Herald of Agony — clear, hitting the same target multiple time, APS scaling, etc.

    I see, thanks

    No problem, let me know if you have any other questions.

  17. Posts
    1

    The main skill tree link doesn’t work?

  18. Posts
    9

    The New Skill Tree Link is kinda broken there

  19. Furty

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    1284

    On 23/06/2019 at 3:17 PM, MKRei said

    The New Skill Tree Link is kinda broken there

    On 23/06/2019 at 11:46 AM, jgza said

    The main skill tree link doesn’t work?

    All fixed, thanks for letting me know you two!

  20. Posts
    1

    I tryed you Build. AWESOME when you hit the 6 link bow ! A good choice is, CWDT+Flesh offerin.. THIS IS MAD !!!! Ty for Build <3

    Can someone explain, how to trigger EQ in skill treee ??? thanks!

    soooo, now we have the 3rd day with the skill(LVL 90). with nearly 10k Eshield still oneshot in t16 map, thats a joke :(
    Also i dont know how to Improve minion damage, without loose to much e-shield.

    Edited by IdealAverage on June 27th, 2019

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